Lori McKenna headlines this episode of Mountain Stage, recorded live on the North Shore of Lake Superior in Grand Marais, Minn. One of Nashville's most in-demand songwriters — her songs have been covered by Faith Hill, Tim McGraw, Carrie Underwood and Keith Urban — McKenna didn't play her first show until she was 27. Here, she's backed on stage by Mark Erelli on electric guitar.
If you love jazz and pop from the 1920s and '30s, you might already love the HBO series Boardwalk Empire, set in Atlantic City during Prohibition. The music played throughout the show is performed by Vince Giordano and the Nighthawks, and a second album of music from the series was recently released.
Originally from Martha's Vineyard, New England singer-songwriter Willy Mason has enjoyed much of his success in Europe, where albums such as 2004's Where the Humans Eat and 2007's If the Ocean Gets Rough were met with wide acclaim.
After a six-year hiatus, Mason put out his third album, Carry On, in the U.K. last year; a U.S. release recently followed. This session marks the first time he's performed with a band at the WXPN studio.
Originally published on Tue November 5, 2013 1:39 pm
The American Primitive guitar record is the soundtrack to the open road. It breathes in dust and exhales smoke. Blues, country, rock, psych, drone, folk, ragtime, bluegrass — it encompasses all of them and none at all. But ultimately, it's evocative of a landscape that doesn't know its boundaries. That's why, in particular, 2013 has felt like a 6- and 12-string renaissance that both celebrates and extends this music, especially since the passing of the beloved Jack Rose four years ago.
Originally published on Thu November 14, 2013 1:42 pm
When their busy schedules align, guitarist Peter Bernstein, keyboard player Larry Goldings and drummer Bill Stewart play together as a trio. Their format isn't earth-shatteringly new — largely standards, a few original pieces, classic sonorities in which Hammond B3 organ meets electric guitar — but after nearly 25 years as a band, their rapport is. Theirs isn't an organ trio of greasy funk, but their cleaner language is plenty tasteful, overlaying smart choices atop plenty of swing.
Trumpeter Amir ElSaffar grew up near Chicago, playing jazz trumpet. In the early 2000s, while in his mid-20s, he began investigating the music of his Iraqi heritage, studying in Baghdad and with expatriate musicians in Europe. Then he began combining the two.